Keith MacLeod, Principal Clarinet

KeithKeith MacLeod MacLeod was born in Quebec, spent his childhood in Manitoba and his adolescence in Vancouver. He began serious study of the clarinet in Vancouver with Wes Foster and then Ronald De Kant: both outstanding professionals. In 1976 through 1979 Keith studied in Chicago with the legendary Robert Marcellus.

Keith has performed across North America as guest soloist with Milwaukee Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Vancouver Symphony as well as the Winnipeg, Calgary and National Arts Centre orchestras among many others.

As a Yamaha Artist, Keith MacLeod has conducted master classes across Canada, the USA and as far away as Spain. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Victoria, University of BC and Louisiana State University. He has taught through the Summer months at the CYMC Summer Music Camp, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific and the Marristone Festival. As well as performing and teaching Keith is also an award winning composer writing chamber music as well as orchestral music.

For the past 33 years Keith has been Principal Clarinet with the Victoria Symphony where he makes his home with his violist wife Jennifer and their two daughters.

Hometown: Victoria, BC for the last 33 years.

First season with the VS: 1982/83

Most memorable VS experience: During the 1992-1993 season our Principal Guest conductor (and future Music Director) Kees Bakels led the orchestra in Glazunov, The Seasons, Op. 67. It was a magical experience for all of us, even Kees himself. Everything just fell into place. The houses were packed and the whole city seemed excited that Kees could bring the orchestra up to this amazing level in just a week. We had a similar experience a few weeks ago with the dynamic Austrian conductor, David Danzmeyer. I hope to have more of these experiences in my remaining years with this orchestra.

Hobbies and interests: I restore rare and collectable motor cars. I also compose and repair clarinets.

Favourite things to do around the capital region: Victoria and the Island is the best place to live in the world as far as I am concerned. I love hiking with my wife and children and exploring parts of the Island I am less familiar with. The art gallery is amazing and the Royal BC Museum is always presenting world class exhibits. There is much to do in our very livable and accessible town.

“Since I joined the VS I have been committed to developing the quality and value of the orchestra. In recent years we have seen an exponential growth of the artistic standard because new and dynamic musicians have joined the ranks. When ever there is an opening, we strive to bring the best new musicians from across the globe into our ensemble. The effect is dramatic. In the hands of the right conductor this orchestra can hold its own with any other orchestra I have worked with, and then some!” -KM

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